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Most of the
following dates and names have been found by searching through old Belfast
& Ulster Street Directories held by the Linenhall
Library, Belfast Central Library and the Public Records Office of Northern
Ireland. The years given therefore are approximate and depend on how
information was collected to make those directories.
Mr Thomas Lynas
Lynas was removed
from his post along with porter Hugh Kennedy due to a severe crime committed
at the station for which they received 4 years penal servitude.
1866 - 1888
Mr Hance Magee –
Mr Magee was in post at least from 1866 when his son is recorded as being
born whilst station master at Dundonald.
Hance Magee died
1888 - 1889
Mr J. Nixon
Mr Joseph Coleman
In February the
company minute books note irregularities by the Dundonald stationmaster. In March
Joseph Coleman appeared before the Holywood Petty
Sessions accused of embezzlement of excess fares at Dundonald. It is stated
he had been promoted to Stationmaster from Porter.
1894 - 1898
Mr William John
Mr James Graham
1900 - 1901
Mr Robert Brown
The 1901 Irish
Census shows that when living at Dundonald Station Robert Brown was 33 years
old, married with 3 children. He was also author of a small book named “Poems
by a Railway Lad” printed by W& G Baird Belfast in 1911. Prior to coming
to Dundonald he had been station master at Neill’s Hill. Included in his book
is a poem entitled, “A reply to the compliant of the dullness at Neill’s Hill
skies, earth matron looks,
And languid lies October;
Beneath a load of
With face both wane and sober.
Yet though the
sun with clouded face
Does thus refrain from greeting,
There are true hearts
within this place
With warm affection beating.
eyes to light indeed
That never once grows hazy,
And inward with
Would set dull hearts half crazy.
haze and winter’s snow
An endless taper’s burning
Of love, to keep
all hearts aglow,
As seasons still keep turning.
1902 - 1928
Mr Charles McLaughlin
Mr McLaughlin was
previously the stationmaster at Neill’s Hill before his move to Dundonald.
was a well loved character on the railway and was
much missed when he died at Station House on 12/9/1928 after a period of
serious illness. He was aged 59½ years and had completed 38 years service with the company.
Such was his
popularity that short articles appeared in the local newspapers marking his
passing. The Belfast Telegraph
included the following tribute:
genial figure will be missed for many a day by the users of the line. He was
a smart, and courteous official, possessed of a genial disposition which made
him very popular with the public”.
The Belfast News
Letter had the following to say:
was well-known to hundreds of travellers on the Belfast and County Down
Railway. An ideal official, courteous and obliging, and ever zealous in the
performance of his duties, he was respected by all who came into contact with
In October 1928
the Senior Porter William Thompson requested consideration for the position
of Stationmaster. He appears to have been unsuccessful as by 1930 James
Taylor was in the position having moved from Tullymurry
were he was Stationmaster.
1930 - ?
Mr James Taylor
In Ireland's Saturday Night - Saturday 25 August 1956 there was an article
entitled “End of the line” where “W meets desolation at the old Dundonald
“BARBED wire over
gaping windows jagged edged with smashed glass: laths drooping from the
broken ceilings, plaster hoked off the walls: the Ladies' Waiting Room, still
labelled, falling to pieces, half the fireplace missing: holes in roof and
broken slates on the floor…
"A proper playground." said
retired Dundonald station-master James Taylor. " Davy Crockett hunting
round and ambushing over the roofs! Oh, it's a wonderful place now."
All the lines and
sleepers are away. The track is a weed-grown alley—that's the picture of
desolation. "Desperate" said he. " Talk about beauty spots and
preserving the countryside. But that old track’s a real promenade. Prams and
stationmaster here for 17 years, and still lives in the stationmaster's house
20 or 30 yards away. We looked at a flower-bed on the platform, or what once
was a flower-bed. It is now a mass of weeds and nettles. "I used to have
chrysanthemums there," said he. "This time o' year they'd be just
shaping up. You see that big bush there? We were famous for our roses. Now
they're reverting to buckles again." Here and there were young shoots of
tree “Sycamore.” he said. There’s a big Sycamore over the road, and the seeds
blow all round, so there’s a desperate lot of sycamore.”
In his early days
here he knew everybody. “Now.” he said “you hardly
know the people at all. They’re all strangers.”
But it was always
quiet, and still is. You can almost hear the silence. “During the day,” he said
“might as well be in a cemetery – only you never know who you might see in a
cemetery!” Across the road a row of villas lined the hill. “I used to watch hares
playing themselves on that hill”, he commented.
A fellow and two
girls came through the station and went down the cracking stone steps to the
sub-way: Ballybeen’s short cut to the bus on the
main road. It saves about 100 yards.
James looked round
and his eyes glinted. “I still have a feeling for the old station.” he said. “Once
a railwayman always a railwayman. My father was a railwayman, and all my
brothers.” How is it that most railwaymen are quiet, slow-moving? “I couldn’t
tell you.” he said. “But on the railway you need a
long temper – not a short temper.”
They’ve had excitement
here at times. “The time of the Grand Prix,” he said “it was holy terror.
People slept out all round here the night before the race. The time of the
blitz it was terrible. Hundreds would come out on the train, bedding and all
with them. Talk about refugees!”
We went through
the desolate station-house again. Two posters survive. One advertised cheap
one-day tickets to Belfast – from Dundonald it was 8d return. The other was a
gay holiday poster of Snowdon, North Wales beauty spot.
Stand on the
forsaken platform again. You look across at the lovely Holywood
Hills… and forget the desolation of the ruined station.
James is a County
Derry man. “From the little town of Garvagh.” Said he.
“Sitting on the wall at the bottom of the town to fish? Oh yes, Garvagh’s a great place for fishing.”
Any hobbies? “When
you’re on the railway you’re married to the job.” he said. “You’ve no time
for anything else. But now I’m retired I read Westerns. I’m a great man for
the cowboy stories!”
I looked again at
the crumbling station, the long stretch of desolate track.
‘Tis true, ‘Tis
pity as Shakespeare said.”
? - 1950
closed in 1950 when much of the former BCDR system was shut down. At this